Former House speaker Newt Gingrich tells National Review Online that the House GOP’s commitment to entitlement reform is “exactly what is needed.” Starting the process early, he tells us, will put the party in a position to pass meaningful legislation. Big-ticket bills, he notes, take time and sweat.
Gingrich adds that the early conversation could kick start a series of reforms. He points to his own record as an example.
“In 1995, House Republicans initiated welfare reform and Medicare reform,” Gingrich reminds us. “Welfare reform was the most successful social conservative reform of the last 80 years. After President Clinton signed it — after two vetoes — in 1996, two out of every three welfare recipients went to work or went to school.”
That battle helped set the stakes for the next debate. “In 1996, Medicare was projected to go bankrupt,” he recalls. “We reformed it and saved the system from bankruptcy for a generation. House Republicans face a similar challenge today. No serious effort to control spending can avoid entitlement reform.”